Las Vegas Sun

August 1, 2014

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Lawmakers consider cost of reopening Las Vegas juvenile detention center

CARSON CITY — The state is planning to reopen a shuttered juvenile detention center in Las Vegas, but there’s a question whether the state or a private contractor should run it.

The Summit View facility was closed by the state during the budget crunch and the juvenile offenders housed there were sent to the Nevada Youth Training Center in Elko.

Mike Willden, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, told a Senate-Assembly budget subcommittee Friday that allowing a private, nonprofit company to manage Summit View would save the state $750,000 a year.

Summit View has 96 beds, and the state’s plan is to transfer 48 youths from Nevada to the center and allow a nonprofit operator to use the other 48 beds to house youths from other states.

Nevada officials will open bids from potential nonprofits to run the facility on April 23. Four or five companies have expressed interest.

But the subcommittee said it still wants more details about how much it would cost the state to run the facility.

The subcommittee must also decide what to do with the juvenile detention facility in Elko. A study found the Elko facility was not equipped to house youths there for more serious offenses, and improvements to make it more secure would be cost-prohibitive.

The subcommittee put off any final decision until May 1.

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